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BlueLuna // Website Design / Blog

clean-your-wordpress-website

Improve your WordPress website’s Google ranking with 5 easy tips

Your home and car aren’t the only thing that need a Spring cleaning each year. Your WordPress website can also become cluttered with old draft pages, unused plugins and stale content.

Here’s a quick rundown that will help you get your site squeaky-clean.

1. Improve on-site SEO

The first thing you want to do is clean up your on-site SEO. The rules changed in January when Google launched a massive SEO algorithm update. Now we’re starting to see the effects play out in search ranking. That means you need to go back and adjust any on-site SEO issues that came from the update.

You don’t need encyclopedic knowledge of the update of SEO to do so. In most cases, you can run a simple SEO report on your website that will tell you how to improve your site’s overall SEO.

One of the tools, we recommend is the SEO report tool “Moz Pro” from Moz. It will comb through your website and find issues that need to be fixed, such as duplicate title tags on pages.

Once you have a report identifying the issues, you will need to make the necessary changes on your website. The tool we recommend to optimize your SEO, is Yoast SEO. Yoast will display visual cues on which content needs to be optimized and updated in order to stay relevant for your particular topics. You won’t have to guess at what characters to put in either – the tool will make live queries into Google to see what search terms people are actually using that you can tap into.

If this seems too complex for you to handle, find a web development company or a freelance web developer to implement the changes. It’ll make your life a lot easier than the risk of breaking your website.

2. Clean up your WordPress plugins

Look at every plugin on your site. Check your active plugins to make sure you are using the latest version and that the plugins have no known security issues. If you have plugins that you are not using, get rid of them.

Removing old, unused plugins protects you from potential security exploits. It also eliminates clutter on your end and saves you hard drive space for your website. Even though the users won’t notice the difference, you will when you work on your website.

3. Set up a Webmaster page

Google webmaster tools will run specific diagnostics such as site speed and crawling errors on your site to help determine any issues Google may find during the indexing process. Webmaster tools will also alert you to issues like the presence of duplicate titles or duplicate descriptions.

This is important because Google doesn’t like to see duplicate content and may lower your search rankings if it finds any.

You’ll also be alerted to any pages that have speed performance issues. Pages that take a long time to load will impact your bounce rate, which also affects SEO.

4. Sweep out draft pages.

Every WordPress site owner has a large collection of old drafts and extra pages taking up space in their database.

Every time you save a change on a page, it will save a draft copy. After a period of time, a site may have accumulated several thousand draft copies taking up space in the database.

We recommend deleting old drafts that are taking up unneeded space in your database. There is a great tool called WP Sweep, which will go in and delete those old drafts and improve performance, as well as optimize the database.

5. Update your content

Spend some time and look at what your content looks like and see if it’s outdated. You may have something that refers to 2015 as “next year” or focuses on concepts that have gone out of fashion. Make sure everything is timely and make sure all of the dates are current.

Also make sure your contact information is up to date: Including your address, phone number and emails are all correct and all work. Make sure the copyright at the bottom of your page is current.

You should also go through your Google Analytics and see which older content should be removed.

Old content that isn’t pulling in web hits can bog down your site, but more importantly, from Google’s perspective it can dilute your site’s content. After a purge, the content that remains is more concentrated and the new space can inspire you to create new, relevant, and exciting content for users.

If you’re really attached to a piece of old content that no one is viewing, consider repurposing it instead and expanding the scope of the content that may add a new spin. Change some of the wording around, repost it with a new title and new SEO, and put some real effort into promoting it.

Improving site Search Engine friendliness, SEO and rankings is a never ending task.

Take some time to tune-up your website by updating your SEO or SEO widget, cleaning up outdated or unused plugins, setting up and scanning your webmaster tools, cleaning out old draft and unused pages and updating your content.

 

cricket-web-design

New website for Cricket Lighters goes live!

Cricket Brand Lighters website is now live!

The newest incarnation of the Cricket Brand Lighters website is now live. BlueLuna created the engaging experience by building the site on a parallax scrolling platform. In addition, we utilized responsive design techniques allowing the experience to display perfectly on not only desktop computers but smartphones and tablets as well. We had a lot of fun with this one! Check it out here: www.cricketusa.net

A-and-E-TV-flipping-boston

BlueLuna featured on A&E TV

BlueLuna has made its TV debut!

We were given the opportunity to rebrand Pete’s-A-Place restaurant on A&E TV’s show Flipping Boston. The pizza restaurant needed to be completely renovated, and BlueLuna was chosen to reinvent the Pete’s-A-Place brand identity. The result of our efforts is a fun, engaging brand experience that combines modern and vintage elements to create the warm environment. The logo we designed takes inspiration from the classic pizza chef motif, as does the color scheme seen throughout the interior and exterior design. We also introduced a mustache photo wall for patrons to post pictures of themselves sporting the fake mustaches handed out in the store.

We had a lot of fun working on this project, and BlueLuna’s CEO, Robert Berry, had a great time filming with the Flipping Boston team! If you’re ever in the Danvers area, stop by for a slice. You’ll be glad you did!

new-england-give-camp1

BlueLuna employee volunteers at New England GiveCamp 2013

GiveCamp 2013

Jason LeVan, a web developer here at BlueLuna, was nice enough to donate his time last week to a volunteer event called New England GiveCamp. This is a weekend-long event where designers and developers donate their time and abilities to charities and non-profits that need technical help. Projects can include rebranding, websites, or anything tech-related that can be completed in one weekend.

This was his third year volunteering at the weekend-long codefest, where he spent his time helping the non-profit  Tutors for All redesign their outdated website. He and his teammates worked on the web development, design, content, and coding for Tutor for All’s new WordPress site.

Jason admitted to getting almost no sleep at GiveCamp, but luckily there was plenty of coffee provided by sponsors to keep everybody going. On Saturday morning, Jason tweeted, “Thanks to @brewbetterworld for keeping me properly caffeinated this weekend at #negc2013.” He joked that he was too overdosed on caffeine to get any real sleep.

Jason initially signed up for the social aspect of the event, saying, “I first started volunteering to meet like-minded people, and it seemed like a fun time.” He’s met some great friends at GiveCamp over the years, and of course, he continues to volunteer because he believes it’s a great cause.

Jason had no hesitation when asked what his favorite part about New England GiveCamp is. “Watching the non-profits’ reactions during the presentations is really satisfying,” he said. “You can see how much they appreciate what’s done for them.”

BlueLuna is so proud of Jason’s hard work, dedication, and selflessness to volunteer at this great event. We are lucky to have him as a part of the BlueLuna team!

Check out this cool time-lapse video of New England GiveCamp, where you can really see the volunteers’ hard work (and lack of sleep!) in action. www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XXfKq1bf1U

To see the website Jason helped design and develop, go to www.tutorsforall.org.

To learn more about New England GiveCamp, go to newenglandgivecamp.org.

mtv-upfront-presentation-2013

BlueLuna creates presentation for MTV’s 2013 Upfront Campaign

MTV’s Upfront Campaign

BlueLuna was honored to once again be chosen to create MTV’s Upfront Campaign presentation. The upfront presentations are an opportunity for television networks to broadcast their plans for the year and to present new shows, viewership ratings, and other details for potential prime-time advertisers. MTV’s Upfront event was held in April at the Beacon Theater in New York, where stars like Snoop Lion, Mac Miller, Vinny Guadagnino from “The Jersey Shore” and Nev Schulman from “Catfish: The TV Show” came to show support. Selena Gomez and Emeli Sandé made the night memorable with vocal performances after the presentation. BlueLuna was thrilled to design MTV’s 2013 Upfront presentation again this year, as we have for the past 5 years.

Fund created for Boston Marathon victims

Boston Marathon Victims Fund

BlueLuna has joined our client CityLight Homes in an effort to help the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. We’ve established a fund through our founder’s charity, Christian Angel Smile, where 100% of the donations will go to the victims and their families. The money raised will help with whatever they may need to adjust to their new lives, whether it be building wheelchair ramps, widening doorways in their homes, or helping pay for physical therapy expenses. Please help support those affected by visiting www.citylighthomes.com to donate. We sincerely appreciate any contributions made. Thank you.

harvard-university-web-design

New website on the horizon for Harvard’s MI Oasis

Harvard’s MI Oasis

Harvard University and Howard Gardner, the Harvard professor who developed the theory of Multiple Intelligences, have chosen BlueLuna to create a website for Gardner’s MI theory. Gardner developed the Multiple Intelligences theory after two decades of extensive research, in which he identified eight distinct intelligences. The goal for Harvard’s MI Oasis website is to develop a digital space for accurate, up-to-date information regarding the Multiple Intelligences theory. They are looking to have the new website be professional, engaging and accessible to researchers who are searching for current resources and articles. BlueLuna is honored to have the opportunity to work with such a renowned scholar and university.

learning-express-toy-store-web-design

Learning Express website launches

Learning Express

BlueLuna is happy to announce that the new flagship website for Learning Express has gone live! Learning Express, the nation’s largest franchisor of educational toys, was looking to update and redesign their website to better represent their professional yet playful brand. The objective for the new website was to make it simple for customers, current franchisees, and potential franchisees to easily find what they are looking for. The site now features a store locater as well as individual pages for each franchise store. Each store is now able to update their individual page through a content management system to promote any events or services that are specific to their store. Take a look at the new website here: www.learningexpress.com.

Amptek chooses BlueLuna for new website

We are very excited to announce our new client, Amptek. Amptek is a high technology company and a recognized world leader in the design and manufacture of state-of-the-art nuclear instrumentation for the satellite, x-ray and gamma ray detection, laboratory, and portable instrumentation industries. Our goal is to revamp and modernize Amptek’s website to better reflect their high-tech expertise. We will be focusing on improving navigation and readability, refine overall user experience, and promoting Amptek’s cutting-edge products. We can’t wait to get started!

northeastern-university-web-design

BlueLuna continues work with Northeastern University

Northeastern University’s Biotechnology Department

BlueLuna is proud to announce that we will be creating a new website for Northeastern University’s Biotechnology department. The Biotechnology PSM Program at Northeastern University delivers a unique and cutting-edge degree by combining advanced science education with opportunities to interact with leading practitioners in the biomedical and pharmaceutical community. Northeastern University has previously entrusted BlueLuna to create websites for four of their colleges. Now, the new task is to create a website for their Biotech department that is professional, innovative, and easy to navigate. The goal is for potential and current students to be able to quickly find the information they are looking for, and to have the site be a more consistent reflection of Northeastern University’s main website. We are delighted to have another opportunity to work with Northeastern.